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Dr. BR Ambedkar quoted, “Our President under Constitution of India is merely a nominal figurehead, he has no discretion. He is head of the State but not of the Executive. He represents the Nation, but does not rule the Nation.”
The Union executive consists of the President, the Vice-President, and a Council of Ministers with Prime Minister as the head to aid and advice the President. The President is the Chief executive and constitutional head of the republic of India under the Parliamentary system. He is also the first citizen of India.
The Indian President is the head of the state and he is also called the first citizen of India. The President is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of India and is also the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. He is a part of Union Executive, provisions of which are dealt with Article 52-78 including articles related to President (Article 52-62). Under these articles, information on how a President is elected, his powers and functions, and also his impeachment process is given.
Executive Power of the President (Article 53)
- The executive power of the Union is vested in the President and it is exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinates to him in accordance with this Constitution.
- The supreme command of the Defence Forces of the Union is vested in the President and the exercise is regulated by law.
Election of the President (Article 54)
The President is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of—
(a) The elected members of both Houses of Parliament and
(b) The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States.
Manner of Election (Article 55)
A president is not directly elected by the people of India. An electoral college elects him. The Electoral College comprises of –
- House of Parliament (Lok Sabha + Rajya Sabha) – Member of Parliament (MP)
- Legislative Assembly of the States (Includes Union territory of Delhi and Puducherry) – Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)
Vote share –
- MLA –
- MP –
Term of Office (Article 56)
The President holds office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office and he shall upon expiration of five years continue to hold office until his successor enters upon his office.
Although a person who holds, or who has held, office as Pres. is eligible for re-election to that office. (Article 57)
Qualification for Election (Article 58)
To be eligible to be elected –
- He should be a citizen of India
- He should be at least 35 years of age
- He should be qualified for election as a member of House of People.
- He should not hold any office of profit under the central government, state government, or any public authority.
Condition for office of President
There are a few conditions for the candidate running for the Pres.’s elections:
- He cannot be a member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. If he has been a member of either of the house, he should vacate the seat on his first day as President in the office
- He should not hold any office of profit
- For his residence, Rashtrapati Bhavan is provided to him without the payment of rent
- Parliament decides his emoluments, allowances and privileges
- Parliament cannot diminish his emoluments and allowances during his term of office
- He is given immunity from any criminal proceedings, even in respect of his personal acts
- Arrest or imprisonment of the Pres. cannot take place. Only civil proceedings can be initiated for his personal acts that too after giving two months’ of prior notice.
Impeachment of President (Article 61)
The procedure for impeachment has been mentioned under Article 61. Impeachment is a legislative trial for removal of high officials of the State. Impeachment can be started by any House of the Parliament at the initiative of 1/4th of its total membership who must give 14 days’ notice. The President has the right to appear and be represented at such investigation. If 2/3rd majority of the total membership of that House approves the charge, the other House will discuss the same. If 2/3rd majority of the other House also approves the resolution, he shall be impeached.